Bringing "indigenous" ownership back: Chinese presence and the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission in Zambia

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Abstract

African economies are currently experiencing an upsurge in foreign ownership of key parts of their economies. This, however, is not new, and in the wake of independence several African countries pursued indigenisation policies to bring ownership back to their own citizens. Now indigenisation policies thrive again, this time disguised in terms such as ‘empowerment’, but just as politicised as in the 1970s. Zambia is at the heart of this development. In the light of liberalisation, booming commodity prices and the increasing importance of Chinese investors, this article seeks to further our understanding of how processes of exclusion interact with domestic politics in Zambia. It argues that the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission, a new institution to bring ownership back to Zambians, builds on a long tradition of nationalist policies in Zambia, while its actual work is strictly related to the critique of the growing foreign dominance over the economy, and in particular of the upsurge in
Chinese investments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Modern African Studies
Volume50
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)447-466
ISSN0022-278X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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